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Explore the natural beauty and small-town charm of Slovenia and Croatia on a 15-day land and sea adventure. Beginning in the maze of canals in Venice, admire the waters of Lake Bled and the underground world of the Postojna Caves, ride the cable car up Mt Vogel for sweeping views over Lake Bohinj, and appreciate the pure and fertile Plitvice Lakes National Park. Indulge in epicurean delights like truffles and wine in Istra and the varied seafood along the Dalmatian coast. In Split, embark on an Adventure Cruise to Hvar, Korcula and Opuzen, then board wooden boats and sail up the River Neretva to Bosnia and Herzegovina, stopping in the stunning Mostar. The Adriatic coast is spotted with places to see, so let your mind wander as you discover the many gems along your way.
Day 1: Venice
Arrive in style! Your airport arrival transfer is by private water taxi. Glide into the centre of Venice by boat to gain an appropriate sense of perspective of this unique city from the water… don’t forget to keep your camera handy! This watery wonderland of bridges, towers, piazzas, canals, churches and gondolas – practically unchanged for 600 years – is literally sinking under the weight of iconic sights. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you have time to spare before then, you may wish to take a walking tour of the highlights, including St Mark's Square and the Basilica, Doges’ Palace, Accademia Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs. After the group meeting tonight, do not be afraid to lose yourself on a short walk of discovery, through mysterious, quiet alleys and sleepy canals.
Day 2: Postojna Caves – Ljubljana – Bled
Farewell Venice in the morning and travel to the Postojna Caves (approximately 2 hours), where you will have some free time to have lunch before exploring. A network of 20 kilometres of passages, galleries and chambers, Postojna is the largest classic karst cave in Europe. Begin with a two-kilometre open-top train ride through narrow tunnels into the jungle of stalactites and stalagmites. In the vast chambers the electric lighting allows you to admire the size and splendour of the underground world, where the geological past is recorded in a unique manner. Continue to Ljubljana (approximately 1 hour), a city full of style and sophistication. On arrival take a guided tour around the Old Town. Visit Ljubljana Castle, the Town Hall, Cathedral of St Nicholas and the Dragon Bridge. You'll also pay a visit to the open market under arcades before continuing to the lake side town of Bled (approximately 1 hour).
Day 3: Lake Bohinj – Bled
This morning you’ll drive through the misty Sava Bohinjka Valley to beautiful Lake Bohinj (approximately 30 minutes), the largest permanent natural lake in Slovenia. Take a cable car to the top of Mt Vogel, where you will be greeted by simply astonishing views of evergreen woods sloping down the mountains to touch the brilliant blue waters. Enjoy free time to enjoy this amazing area before returning to Bled, renowned for its mild, healing climate and thermal lake water. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then embark on some sightseeing. Take a Pletna boat ride (a wooden, awning-covered boat rowed by a special oarsman) to the island on Lake Bled and climb up the 99 steps to St Mary's Church. Enjoy a free evening. Be sure to seek out the famous Bled cream cake, which isn’t hard; nearly every cafe and cake shop in town claims that theirs is the best.
Day 4: Motovun – Rovinj – Pula
Farewell Slovenia this morning and drive to Motovun, one of the most interesting towns in Croatia (approximately 2 hours). Motovun sits on the top of a cone-shaped hill, 277 metres above sea level, surrounded by the romantic and natural diversity of the bountiful Mirna River Valley, whose forests are famous for truffle hunting. Motovun is the one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Croatia's Istria region, with houses scattered all over the hill. The town grew around a core settlement surrounded by well-fortified walls, and its Celtic origin name comes from the word 'Montona', which means the 'town on the hill'. The medieval charm of the town is still found in its well-preserved architecture. Truffles are a glamourous-sounding local produce in this region. Enjoy a truffle tasting combined with fritaja (Croatian omelette), a local speciality. Your sommelier will pair your tasting with suitable Istrian wines to try, such as the famous Malvazija. Continue on to the romantic Croatian town of Rovinj, one of the best-kept towns on the Adriatic Coast (approximately 1 hour). Among Rovinj's qualities is the beautiful, architecturally intact old town centre, with a relaxed Mediterranean feel. Through the centuries, Rovinj’s character has enchanted many an artist or writer, including Jules Verne. Whilst in Rovinj you will also pay a visit to the venetian-style St. Euphemia Church, dedicated to the early Christian martyr whose marble coffin is said to have floated to the Rovinj shoreline. Continue on to Pula, only a short drive and tonight’s destination (approximately 40 minutes).
Day 5: Pula – Opatija – Plitvice
This morning, explore the famous Roman Amphitheatre of Pula with a local guide, and step back in time to the town’s heyday as a Roman regional administrative centre. Overlooking the harbour, the arena is the sixth-largest surviving amphitheatre in the world. Built in the 1st century, it was designed to hold up to 20,000 spectators, who revelled in the bloodthirsty gladiatorial contests shown there. The 30-metre-high wall, inset with two rows of arches, is made entirely of local limestone, with gutters on top for collecting water and slabs that were used to hold a shady fabric canopy in place. In the late morning you will make your way inland with a stop at the town of Opatija (approximately 1.5 hours), a former resort town for wealthy Austro-Hungarian families. Here you’ll have the opportunity to walk along the famed centuries-old Franz Joseph I Promenade, better known as the Lungomare – a coastal footpath that stretches from Volosko to Lovran. There will be time for you to explore the stretch of the promenade closest to town, and to have lunch. In the afternoon, you will transfer to your hotel (approximately 2.5 hours), located in the Plitvice Lakes area.
Day 6: Plitvice Lakes National Park – Zadar
Today you will visit one of Croatia's most beautiful sites – Plitvice Lakes National Park. The park was given World Heritage status 20 years ago and comprises 19 hectares of wooded hills that surround 16 stunning turquoise lakes, all connected by a series of waterfalls. The area is populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and some rare bird species, and the thick, primeval forest vegetation of beech trees, fir spruce and white pine adds another element to the park's beauty. You’ll have free time to explore here – all trails in the national park are well marked so it's difficult to get lost, but please follow the national park rules, which your leader will outline to you. After your memorable visit to the lakes, drive to the walled city of Zadar (approximately 1.5 hours). For centuries Zadar was the capital city of Dalmatia, and the city's rich heritage is visible at every step. Take an afternoon sightseeing tour of this splendid city – see the Roman Forum built in the first-Century and St Donatus' Church, which dates back to the ninth century and is the most famous medieval basilica and trademark of the city. You’ll also see numerous other fascinating constructions from between the 12th and 16th centuries, like the reconstructed Romanesque St Grisigono's Church, St Mary's bell tower, St Anastasia's Cathedral, and the People's Square. Lastly, you will visit the Three and Five Wells Squares. There is also an opportunity to visit the Gold and Silver Museum.
Day 7: Zadar
Today is a free day in Zadar. There is so much to see and do in this harbour city, the hard thing is deciding what to choose. There are a number of excellent museums to visit including the Museum of Church Art, the Archeological Museum and the National Museum. Don't forget to visit the famous ‘Greeting to the Sun’ and the ‘Sea Organ’, two of the more modern sights of Zadar. The latter is a man-made organ on Zadar's Riva that works with the motion of the waves and 35 pipes to create a musical soundscape. You could also visit the vibrant fish markets of this port town, take a dip in the clear coastal waters, or explore the cafe culture and do some people watching. Your leader will also be able to offer you suggestions.
Day 8-9: Split
After breakfast, you will drive to Split, making a few interesting stops on the way. Your first stop is at the town of Sibenik (approximately 1 hour), where you have the option to visit the 15th-century St Jacob's Cathedral. After some free time for lunch, drive to Primosten (approximately 30 minutes), one of the most picturesque small towns on the Adriatic, then onwards to Split (approximately 1 hour). This is Croatia's second largest city, located in the heart of the Dalmatian coast and set on the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea against a backdrop of coastal mountains. On arrival, transfer to your ship for the Adventure Cruising section of your journey, with boarding at 5 pm. Meet your crew and fellow travellers over a welcome drink, and have an introductory meeting and safety briefing. In the evening, sit down to an on-board dinner and watch the sun set over the sparkling Adriatic.
Day 10: Split – Hvar
Set sail for the island of Hvar, enjoying breakfast on board. Stop to swim in the waters of the Adriatic at a secluded beach close to Stari Grad – Hvar's Old Town. Arrive in Stari Grad around midday and look across one of Europe's oldest towns while lunching on board the Dalmatia. Next, take a bus to explore the island known as the 'Queen of the Dalmatian Islands'. Visit a nearby farm and try local produce before enjoying a walk through the nearby lavender fields. Afterwards, drive to Hvar town for an orientation walk with your leader, then enjoy free time to explore. Return to Stari Grad and dine at a local restaurant of your choosing. Overnight in Hvar (Stari Grad).
Day 11: Hvar – Opuzen
Set sail early towards Opuzen, breakfasting on board and then stopping for a spot of swimming. Enjoy lunch on board as you sail up the Neretva river towards Opuzen. On arrival, jump into small wooden boats for a leisurely cruise through the surrounding wetlands (with local snacks and music on board). End up at a beautiful local restaurant overlooking the water for Peka lamb and other local dishes then board the boats and return to Opuzen. This evening, you may like to venture out to the friendly bars around the town square to meet the locals.
Day 12: Opuzen – Mostar – Opuzen
It’s an early start this morning as you make your way to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina by minibus. Take a tour with a local guide, visiting a workshop specialising in traditional coffee sets and copper wall carvings. Afterwards enjoy some free time to explore the town and have lunch at your leisure. Return to the ship in the early afternoon and set sail for Trpanj. On arrival, visit the Matusko winery for a wine tasting and tour of the vineyards before a barbecue dinner on the deck of the Peregrine Dalmatia.
Day 13: Opuzen – Korcula
After breakfast on board, enjoy a mid-morning swim stop in beautiful clear turquoise waters of Loviste in the Peljesac peninsula. Return to the ship and set sail for Korcula, the birthplace of Marco Polo, with lunch on the way. This afternoon, join your leader for an orientation tour of the town. This evening you’ll be spoiled for choice with many restaurants overlooking the waterfront – ask your leader for their recommendations. Overnight in the port of Korcula.
Day 14: Korcula – Dubrovnik
Leave early this morning and cruise to Dubrovnik, stopping mid-morning for a swim near the island of Jakljan. Take your lunch on board before arriving in Dubrovnik in the early afternoon where you’ll join a local guide to explore this beautiful walled city. This evening enjoy a four-course dinner with the captain and your travelling companions on board the Dalmatia.
Day 15: Dubrovnik
Your small ship Adventure Cruise along the Dalmatian coast ends after breakfast.
- Complimentary Water Taxi Arrival Transfer from Venice Marco Polo Airport
- Postojna Caves
- Ljubljana Sightseeing with Local Guide
- Ljubljana Castle and Funicular
- Pletna Boat Trip on Lake Bled
- Cable Car to Mt Vogel
- Day Trip to Bohinj
- Truffle and Wine Tasting in Motovun
- Pula Roman Amphitheatre
- Guided Tour of Pula
- Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Zadar Sightseeing Tour
- Zadar Sunset Drink
- Krka National Park waterfalls & swim stop
- Split Guided Tour
- Hvar Hiking Options
- Lavender farm visit
- Boat trip on the River Neretva with local snacks
- Riverside Restaurant Dinner
- Matusko winery visit and tasting
- Mostar - Guided tour
- Korcula orientation walk
- Dubrovnik - Local Guide
13 Breakfast(s) Included
6 Lunch(es) Included
4 Dinner(s) Included